Punjab

Two on bike kill priest outside church

July 17, 2017 04:04 AM
Scene outside Ludhiana church after killing

 

Ludhiana: Two masked men on a bike pumped three bullets into a priest outside a church in Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana on Saturday night. This is the seventh such kil ling in Punjab -and the sixth in Ludhiana district -in the last 18 months.The priest, Sultan Masih, 53,was talking on his phone outside the church when the assailants struck. The injured priest was taken to a private hospital in Civil Lines in Lud hiana where he succumbed.

Police said two bullets hit his chest and one struck his head. Masih was a priest at a church, 'Temple of God', in Peeru Banda Mohalla of Ludhiana. Commissioner of police RN Dhoke said, “Police are scanning CCTVs installed near the location and have alerted various checkpoints.“

The assailants, like all previous assassinations, were on a motorcyle, fortifying the suspicion of Ludhiana Police about the involvement of the same module. Many of these killings have taken place in the last one year.

On August 6, 2016, a prominent RSS leader Brigadier V P Gagneja was shot in Jalandhar, and died on September 22, after battling for life for 47 days in a hospital. This was followed by the killing of a Hindu Takht leader Amit Sharma near Jagraon on January 14, 2017. Then on February 25, 2017, two Dera Sacha Sauda followers were shot dead inside the canteen of Naam Charcha Ghar, near Khanna.

Police said the killers knew about the CCTV cameras outside the church.The cops suspect that the killers made a deliberate attempt to be captured on camera. Their faces were covered.

“Like all previous cases, this time, too, the killers chose Saturday to kill the priest. The other fact is they shot him from close range. This is the hallmark of conventional trained killer,“ said a senior Punjab Police cop DGP Suresh Arora was not available for any comment. ADGP Rohit Choudhary had only last month asked district cops to dig out records of all killings executed by either .32 bore or 9 mm weapons in last five years to gauge any pattern and match them with the recent cases.

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